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Over 40 years Ago

I have been raped both by a stranger and on a date, both in my teen years. The stranger was giving me a ride and took a side road out into the woods. I was helpless to fight physically, so I just acted like it was ok and tried to think of how to stay alive. My biggest fear was being left in the woods and no one would find my body. He took me back to town. I was so numb, I didn’t even know what day it was. I asked him to drop me off at the school and it was Saturday. When I went to a doctor’s office, they wouldn’t look me in the eye and just sort of cleaned me up and sent me home. I felt dirty and ashamed. I went to an atty. that told me I should not speak of it, because no one would believe me, and it would put me in more danger. I told no one after that, for many years. The date rape was all together different and I was given a drug…I don’t like to talk about it still. I have had a family and now have grandchildren. I still watch my back and am not comfortable alone with any man I don’t know very well. It affects so much of my life. I worry about the children. Most people think of me as strong, happy and fine…because they don’t know and I wear that suit of armor to live. However, I have not been successful in relationships. The residual damage comes out in different ways, and often makes little sense. I think of myself as a survivor and take responsibility for how I heal, but it amazes me how much it still lives in my body. At least I don’t blame myself anymore. It’s very serious and damaging and I am grateful for the support that is available now for rape victims now. I hope it makes a difference.

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